Windows Spotlight is a great feature that can actually be useful at times. Showing you some nice artistic photographs on your lockscreen and even suggesting some surprisingly useful apps on your start menu. A recent update seems to have added some annoying ads that go beyond simple suggestions. But thankfully there's a way to turn it off.
In fact, it's very simple. But it also means you won't get a rotating gallery of beautiful photos when you start-up. You might find ads magically appearing about games or even other products that aren't even related to Microsoft. Just follow the below steps and you'll be just fine, sans ads.
- Open the Start Menu and search for "Lock Screen Settings."
- Under "Background," select either Picture or Slideshow, instead of Windows Spotlight.
- Scroll down to "Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen" and this toggle.
Microsoft will be holding a press event later this month centered around its Xbox One and Windows 10 cross-platform ecosystem. Details are a bit light, but sources indicate that Xbox head Phil Spencer will be there, and a roadmap for future Windows 10 content will be presented.
Redmond wants to remind everyone that Windows 10 is still exciting, and to prove it, the tech titan is holding a new presser just three weeks head of GDC 2016. The Windows event kicks off on February 25, and will focus on the hottest new Xbox One games as well as the future of Windows 10 as a whole, so we'll probably get more info on Redstone and cross-platform Xbox One-to-Windows features.
According to Windows Central, who has been invited to the shindig, attendees will have "the chance to hear from Head of Xbox Phil Spencer and get hands-on with the best games and platform experiences launching this spring on Xbox and Windows 10." So we'll likely see the usual suspects like Xbox One's former-exclusive Quantum Break as well as the Windows 10 flavors of Killer Instinct and Gears of War.
Since the release of Windows 10, we've been slowly learning just how much of a spying tool it is for Microsoft, but these new numbers are going to blow you away.
Voat user CheesusCrust has completed some extensive testing on Windows 10, where he reports that during an 8-hour period, Windows 10 attempted to send back data from his PC to over 51 different IPS addresses owned by Microsoft, and at a staggering 5500 times.
After 30 hours, the data being sent back to Microsoft from Windows 10 expanded to a huge 113 non-private IP addresses. These IP addresses being non-private means that hackers can intercept that data, which makes anyone using Windows 10 very, very vulnerable. You might think this is just a once-off, and that the proof can't be replicated? Yeah, well, no.
Microsoft has been pretty secretive about the contents of its Windows 10 updates, but that's no longer the case as of today. The company has launched a new section of its website which details all updates in changelog form, starting with two updates released today (one for each Windows 10 branch).
"We're committed to our customers and strive to incorporate their feedback, both in how we deliver Windows as a service and the info we provide about Windows 10," they write. "In response to this feedback, we're providing more details about the Windows 10 updates we deliver through Windows Update. You'll see a summary of important product developments included in each update, with links to more details. This page will be regularly refreshed, as new updates are released."
As it was foretold back in October, Windows 10 has been moved from Optional update status to Recommended. This means for anyone who has Automatic Updates and the "Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates" settings enabled, the upgrade process will begin automatically. If you want to change this, type 'Windows Update settings' in the start menu, click 'Advanced options', and change the aforementioned settings.
Note that although some files will be downloaded regardless of what you do to make upgrading quicker, the upgrade will still not actually take place unless you give it permission to do so.
Windows 10 is continuing to jump up the adoption ladder, especially when we look at the latest figures from NetMarketShare, which show Windows 10 has a global OS market share of 11.85%, up from 9.96% in December.
If we compare Windows 10's global OS market share of 11.85% against Windows 8.1 and its 10.4%, and even Windows XP with 11.4%, we can see Windows 10 is doing quite well so far. Microsoft said last month that Windows 10 is the fastest growing version of its OS ever, with 75 million installations in the first month, and 110 million after 10 weeks. In December, Windows 10 had found its way onto 200 million active devices, which is getting closer to Microsoft's plans of having Windows 10 on 1 billion devices "in two or three years".
To try it head out, head here and click the 'Start Windows 95' button. Be warned the disk image is 131MB uncompressed, so it will take a few minutes to load on an average connection, and even once loaded, it will probably run slower than you remember for a variety of technical reasons. Once you're in, click the Fullscreen button to gain control of the OS.
Windows 95 launched 20 years ago and was a landmark OS for Microsoft. Support for it ended just a day prior to 2002.
Cortana is getting quite the upgrade today, with new features that'll help you manage your schedule, and keep your promises. It happens to the best of us, we say we'll do something, forget to actually put in on the calendar, then we forget. Cortana is going to make sure that that doesn't happen anymore.
Microsoft Research has come up with a better way to integrate Cortana into the OS and to leverage her natural attentiveness in order to automatically recognize any sort of commitments you make in through email, and scheduling those for you on the calendar. The way they've done this is through the implementation of a new Natural Language Processing algorithm that can identify these things, determine a time-frame you're likely to setup, and remind you to do those tasks. Now there's no excuse for forgetting to pick up more coffee at the store.
Another new feature coming to Cortana is how she'll be able to better organize your calendar too. Not only will there be automatic scheduling of meetings, but you'll get notified of any conflicts in times and anything outside your normal routine will be flagged so you can adjust accordingly.
Just how profitable has Android been for Google since it acquired the company? Thanks to Oracle's lawyer in their court proceedings against Google, Bloomberg reports that Android has generated $31 billion in revenue and $22 billion in profits since it launched.
Most of the money made has been from Google ads shown on Android phones, and from Play Store revenue. Oracle attorney Annette Hurst said: "Look at the extraordinary magnitude of commerciality here". Google, until now, has been keeping Android earnings a secret, has requested the judge to seal the transcript from that part of the hearing.
Google says the Oracle lawyer received her information from internal, confidential documents marked "Attorney's Eyes Only", and that they should never have been released. Google wrote in its request to the judge: "That non-public financial data is highly sensitive, and public disclosure could have significant negative effects on Google's business".
An interesting story has floated to the surface of the Internet over the weekend, where Microsoft has announced it will not support older operating systems on new platforms, in the very near future.
The company wrote: "Through July 17, 2017, Skylake devices on the supported list will also be supported with Windows 7 and 8.1. During the 18-month support period, these systems should be upgraded to Windows 10 to continue receiving support after the period ends. After July 2017, the most critical Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 security updates will be addressed for these configurations, and will be released if the update does not risk the reliability or compatibility of the Windows 7/8.1 platform on other devices".
Considering Intel's Skylake architecture isn't that old at all, it's concerning that Microsoft will drop support for Skylake processors in Windows 7/8.1 next July. The Redmond-based OS giant has added that operating systems like Windows 7 were never designed for the latest and greatest technological advances we have on PC.
Microsoft added: "Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago before any x86/x64 SOCs existed. For Windows 7 to run on any modern silicon, device drivers and firmware need to emulate Windows 7's expectations for interrupt processing, bus support, and power states- which is challenging for Wi-Fi, graphics, security, and more. As partners make customizations to legacy device drivers, services, and firmware settings, customers are likely to see regressions with Windows 7 ongoing servicing".